Tue, 18 May 2021

Southampton [UK], July 6 (ANI): West Indies pacer Kemar Roach has said that the absence of Joe Root in the England side for the first Test of the three-match series will give advantage to the Caribbean team.

Root would be missing the first Test against West Indies at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton to attend the birth of his second child.

"A Test match without Root, the fantastic stats he has, is going to be a bit of an advantage for us. He is the one who keeps the England batting together. He has done fantastically for them for the last couple of years," ESPNCricinfo quoted Roach as saying.

"Without him, it is a bit of an advantage for us, but also a little bit of a disadvantage because there are some new guys coming in that we obviously have to work out and see what their weaknesses are and try to exploit them. So it goes 50-50, but once we get stuck in and hit our straps and put the balls in the right area, I think we stand a very good chance of going out there and performing well," he said.

Root left England's training camp on Wednesday afternoon to be with his wife. As a result, all-rounder Ben Stokes would be leading England in the first Test.

The right-handed batsman also missed England's three-day intra-squad warm-up match which was played from July 1-3.

Root will also commence a seven-day self-isolation period at home once he leaves the hospital with his family.

He will join back the England squad ahead of the second Test at Emirates Old Trafford on July 13.

The England-Windies Test series will be held at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl and Lancashire's Emirates Old Trafford, which have been chosen as bio-secure venues.

The proposed dates for three Tests are:First Test: July 8-12 at Ageas BowlSecond Test: July 16-20 at Emirates Old TraffordThird Test: July 24-28 at Emirates Old TraffordAll international cricket has been suspended since March this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the series between England and West Indies will mark the return of international cricket.

The ICC has also confirmed interim changes to its playing regulations, including the ban of saliva to shine the ball and allowing replacement of players displaying symptoms of COVID-19 during a Test match. (ANI)

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